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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  July 20, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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enough to drive now, you can have whatever you want, so justin bieber has a chromed fisker. look at it. earlier this month, justin bieber, the pop star, was pulled over in los angeles for reportedly going over 100 miles an hour in his very, very, very, very shiny fisker. a french tourist took this picture of him and said he was so blinded by the shiniest of the car that he did not realize one of the most famous people in the world was inside it. >> i was looking for the car first. that's why i took the picture, and then i heard it was justin bieber. i was like wow. >> when responsible citizens called 911 in l.a. to report this very, very, very speeding chrome fisker, they had no idea what adjectives to describe it. >> it's totally, totally silver. >> the car being pursued is a
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silver metallic, maybe a corvette, some kind of race car. >> what type of car? >> maybe a corvette. it's a metallic silver. you cannot miss it. it's a very unusual car. >> it looks like a spaceship. >> it's true, kind of does look like a spaceship. spaceship kitchen implement. here's the thing. here's why this has turned out to be an important reference right now. the fisker, even justin bieber's chrome fisker, is an electric car. there are still rather homely, slow, tiny wheeled electric cars out there on the market, and that may be the way most people think of electric cars, but there are also these fiskers, right, and teslas as well as these -- right, this is a tesla. these very, very fancy super car looking fast electric cars. the idea, i think, is to up the
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transition from gas-burning cars to electric cars. the idea is to make that transition go faster by building very cool electric cars to attract interest and to attract buyers and change the perception as pokey and homely into being something cool. if the future of automotive manufacturing is electric vehicles, not just for pollution reasons but for technology reasons, frankly, there is a national economic interest in america developing that as a manufacturing sector. if the future is electric, we don't want to be stuck behind as the country only with the ability to make gas-powered cars while everyone else supplies the world with the next generation of plug-ins. so under the bush administration, under the george w. bush administration, a program was set up to bolster this sector to provide government-guarantied loans to try to grow businesses, to try to grow this sector in our economy. fisker, the justin bieber puberty has arrived helper prop,
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fisker applied for government-backed loans to help grow its business under the george w. bush administration program created for that purpose. that funding got approved once the obama administration took over. now, that wasn't their only investment money, fisker also got funding from a big venture capital firm in california, a firm that is a pretty high-profile firm, among its partners, people like meg whitman, she's been a big high-profile supporter and fundraiser and donor for john mccain last time around and for mitt romney. the same firm also has as a partner a man named al gore, who you might have heard of. the main partner tied to the fisker investment firm is this guy, a john mccain donor and rudy giuliani donor and george
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w. bush donor. that's the situation in the real world and in the economy. but in politics, the mitt romney campaign is now trying to sell the idea that the fisker car company is an obama donor scandal. >> i'm ashamed to say that we're seeing our president hand out money to the businesses of campaign contributors when he gave money, $500 million in loans, to a company called fisker that makes high-end electric cars. >> i think meg whitman is going to get annoyed she's being called a barack obama donor and this firm, right, she invested in, this fisker car company that allowed for a george w. bush administration government loan is therefore some kind of obama communism great reveal. this fisker attack, with or without justin bieber, is just a
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mistake. it is a -- it is a misfire by the romney campaign, but they are misfiring right now. they are trying really hard to come up with something to talk about other than mr. romney not releasing his tax returns. they thought this would be over by now, it is not over. but the stuff they want to pivot to just is being served half cooked. this is political stuff when you're talking about a presidential campaign that should not be launched until they've got a better command of the facts. this stuff is not ready for primetime. the fisker attack is a flat-out flailing mistake. they are trying to generate enthusiasm for what the republicans are calling a crony capitalism attack on president obama. now, that is awkward right off the bat because they usually don't like to call him a capitalist, but they are trying
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to call him a crony capitalist right now and the whole idea of this attack is president obama's bundlers, his top fundraisers, have benefitted politically from being his bundlers. they have had political benefits paid to them as a sort of payback for them bundling fundraise donations for president obama. that's the allegation. this is from the romney campaign's conference call just a couple of days ago. governor romney is that person, says romney surrogate ken cuccinelli. we'll talk about him more later.
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government romney is that person. how exactly will governor romney treat his bundlers different than president obama treats his bundlers? well, governor romney promises not to tell us who his bundlers are. oh, so president obama discloses the names of people who bundle big fundraising donations to him. mitt romney is pledging to keep the names of his secret. but his big attempted political pivot this week is to make president obama seem like he's the one that's a little shady about his donors, the donors president obama discloses publicly and mitt romney keeps secret. oh, republicans love justin bieber's electric car, and somehow that means communism, foreign, or what not. this is a mess, and if that is not a big enough mess, there's also buzzfeed reporting this week of the 17 political appointees announced by governor romney in 2006, of the 17 political appointees he announced that year, 15 were campaign donors to him. 15 of the 17, now he and his
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campaign are egging on the national press core to ask about campaign donors getting political favors. 15 of his 17. are you familiar with the fail whale? it's something that turns up on twitter when something internally goes wrong with the site, and instead of getting a generic make you angry error message, they were smart, gave you this guy, cute fail whale, something's wrong. i don't think the mitt romney campaign is failing right now. i think it's almost impossible to fail in july. you fail in october. but it's july, and if they are not failing, i think they are flailing, and the way that is manifesting, the way you can check whether or not you agree with my opinion on that, is to check and see whether or not they are accomplishing what they are trying to accomplish. even though they are striking out with all these poorly aimed, half-cooked counterattacks, what they are trying to make go away is the question about mr. romney's tax returns, and frankly, the question is getting
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worse and getting louder for them. it is not getting better, it is not getting quieter. >> back in 1967, your father set a groundbreaking -- what was then a groundbreaking standard in american politics. he released his tax returns. he released them for not one year, but for 12 years, and when he did that, he said this, one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show. when you release yours, will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. you know, i don't know how many years i'll release. i'll take a look what our documents are -- and i'll release multiple years. i don't know how many years, but i'll be happy to do that. >> governor, you will plan, then, to release your income tax records around april? >> i think i've heard enough of folks to release tax records, i have nothing in them to suggest
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a problem, i am happy to do so. >> he's not turned out to be happy to do so. both of those pieces of tape are from january. despite calls back then and now in july, not just from democrats, but republicans, conservatives, even his own campaign surrogates, he will not. he has released one year and an estimate of another year and that's it. and he's saying he's staying steadfast with that position, and so the story lives, and the campaign is handling it worse and worse every day. and today, the campaign's handling of the issue hit rock bottom. unfortunately, it was the candidate's spouse who the campaign took out to take their worst political step on this subject yet. >> there seem to be so many different distractions. one being your husband and the tax returns. both bushes gave multiple years, ten and 12 years. president obama gave seven years of tax returns.
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your husband has been adamant about only the two years that will be released. why will he not follow the example of others on both sides of the aisle? >> you know, i think there's reason for all of these things. you know, you should really look at where mitt has led his life and where he's been financially. >> yes, we would really like to look at where mitt has led his life and where he has been financially. that's the point. that's why people want to see his tax returns, like all the other people that got to be president. the he shouldn't release his tax returns defense is you should see his finances? this is not a good political move. >> you know, you should really look at where mitt has led his life and where he's been financially. he's a very generous person. we give 10% of our income to our church every year. do you think that is the kind of person that's trying to hide things or do things? no. he is so good about it. then when he was governor of massachusetts, didn't take a salary in the four years.
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you know, he is a person -- >> why not show that then? it's a moot point and people can move on. >> there's so many things that will be open again for more attack and you just want to get more material for more attack and that's just the answer, and we've given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life. >> can't release the tax returns because they would show more things to attack mr. romney for, but i want to tell you what you would see in those tax returns, if we did release them, they would show mr. romney is very charitable and very good, but you can't see them. i wish you could, because he looks great in his tax returns, except for the parts that would look bad, so trust me when i say they are good. this is not the way to make people stop wanting to see the tax returns, and it is not just the campaign putting the candidate's spouse out there to make this very bad political argument, they are also making this very bad political argument directly through the campaign spokespeople.
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it is not true that mitt romney's tax returns would show that he paid zero taxes in 2009. he definitely paid some amount of tax that year. we won't say how much, but they will assert, on the record, that he paid more than zero in taxes, and they refuse to prove it. this is flailing. this is a complain not just in disarray, but in distress. i did not expect it to be this bad at this time of year, and i do not know what happens next. frank rich joins us in just a moment. [ male announcer ] this is rudy. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol.
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new york magazine's frank rich is here next. stay with us. ♪
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you know, you should really look at where mitt has led his life and where he's been financially. he's a very generous person. we give 10% of our income to our church every year. do you think that is the kind of person that is trying to hide things or do things? no. he is so good about it. then when he was governor of massachusetts, didn't take a salary in the four years. you know, he is a person -- >> why not show that then? why not release them, because it's a moot point and people can move on. >> because there's so many things that will be open again for more attack and you just want to give more material for more attack and that's really -- that's just the answer. we've given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life. >> joining us now is frank rich, new york magazine writer at large and executive producer of "veep," which was nominated as an emmy today, congratulations on that. >> thank you so much. >> my feeling is something has
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happened in presidential politics, that is, it's the end of july, this is not a time anything decisive is supposed to be happening in the campaign, but i feel that the romney campaign has collapsed around this issue about not releasing the candidate's taxes, this is getting worse and not better for them. do you think that's true? >> i think it's absolutely true, and one of the most interesting things about it is they could have seen it coming. you've showed the clips of the previous debates in january. it's like the bain story, which he was first attacked on bain in 1994 in the race with ted kennedy, didn't have the answers then, still doesn't have them. the ann romney thing is fascinating. first of all, it's a step up, at least he's putting ann romney out in front. he was earlier in the week hiding behind theresa heinz cary. you may recall he was not being held to the same standard she was when she was not running for president in 2004.
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but also, just what she said now, she said he's a good man, he gives 10% of his income or whatever -- zero, maybe of zero, but whatever to the church. didn't mention the name of the church, which is the mormon church. the mormon church, that's just in one snippet. they keep making it worst. they have no answers, and they look bad, and it's also a metaphor, i think, or become a proxy for all the secrecy about romney, about bain, about his governorship of massachusetts where the hard drives roll a race, his staff was leaving. >> they bought them and took them with them. >> they could afford to buy them. all those sort of language they use, like in 2009 he didn't pay -- we can say he didn't pay zero in taxes. first of all, he could have gotten a refund for all we know, and 2009 is just one year, and a relatively recent year.
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>> in terms of the biggest possible picture in the campaign, the romney folks want this election to be about obama. the obama folks want this election to be about romney. republicans want it to be a thumbs up or thumbs down referendum on the president, with particular reference on the economy. if the obama side succeeds at sort of filling in mr. romney's otherwise sort of mysterious silhouette so it's not just about obama or some undefined other choice, but about two defined, recognizable, visible people, is that the whole ball game for the obama folks? is that the essential thing they need to do? >> i think it's the best path they have. anything can happen. things can happen in foreign affairs too, but look, the economy is a weak hand for obama. for all the improvements he's
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made in it, it's not what people think it should be, no one thinks that, and by filling in romney, who is sort of a blank to many americans, still is. a lot of people have no opinion about him, they are turning it into a horse race, and romney, incredibly, or his campaign, is obliging the obama forces, because they don't fill in his personality at all. he's a good guy, gives to charity, but people don't need to know what's really going on. you've heard enough. well, that's not going to fly. >> how long -- how do we know whether or not it's going to fly? presumably, they are just going to stick with this line as long as they possibly can. in january they broke under the pressure. that's how we got the one year and one estimate that we have now. they have been standing up against this pressure for a long time now. it's been a few weeks now.
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>> it's going to keep coming up. first of all, he has promised another return. when that happens, whatever it is, it may be completely benign, but it's going to create another flurry. when he appoints a vice president, people are going to ask about the other half of the ticket's tax returns and how many tax returns of that person we're going to see. it's going to be something that keeps on happening. if romney had great political skills, you know, if he had the charm of a bill clinton or even of a george w. bush, for those who went for it, he might be able to finesse it, but you add his poor political skills, his robotic personality, his sticking to sound bytes that don't add up with the continued questions, he can't improvise and answer. he doesn't seem to have any way out of it. >> you made me think about something i've never thought about before with the vice president. romney gave 23 years of his tax returns to john mccain when he wanted to be president, only released one year and an estimate for wanting to be president, so if mitt romney is pressured by that, which you're anticipating, so he only asks his vice presidential
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possibilities, who he's vetting, for a year of their tax returns, a year and an estimate, say, so he can't be held to a problematic double standard there, we might get a vice presidential nominee where nobody has seen more than one year of their tax returns? >> i think there's another scenario, they did ask for eight, ten, or 23, and people are going to say why can't we see those and also why can't we see yours. >> i think they are going to have to say, no, we didn't bother seeing the tax returns, it's private. >> they did that, they are fools, it means they haven't vetted the candidate properly. >> that just got way more interesting in my head. >> glad to oblige. >> thank you, you have a way of doing this. frank rich, new york magazine editor at large. executive of "veep," which was nominated for an emmy today. congratulations. >> thank you so much. thanks for having me. all right, it's jobs, jobs, jobs day in republican politics again, and you know what that means. also, we got a best new thing in the world coming up.
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there is, as we speak, something in existence called cooch watch 2012. it is on the internet machine, involves a blonde woman in an obvious blonde wig. it is, i'd like to say, rather excellent, rather unexpected and partially explains who might be the next vice presidential nominee. that's next.
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is the mitt romney campaign now, this week included the campaign leaking a list of what might be the three most boring names in american politics, and i do not mean that in an insulting way. reportedly, these people are on this list, in part, because they are boring, so they meet one of the main qualifications of being mitt romney's pick for vice president. as leaked this week, the main mitt romney short list for vice president includes louisiana governor bobby jindal, rob portman, and tim pawlenty. the dark horse candidate is reportedly paul ryan of wisconsin, he's considered a dark horse because he's too exciting. that news of the big three of boring, plus paul ryan, the news that the romney campaign has narrowed the field of vice president to those folks, left this guy, poor old virginia governor bob mcdonnell in the lonely this week. he had, at one point, been a leading contender for the vice presidential spot and made no secret of the fact he wanted the job, and badly.
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bob mcdonnell ran ads for himself, even though he's not running for reelection. what are the ads for, what are you campaigning for, gov? he was seen as a top contender for the v.p. nod until a bill was passed that mandated medically unnecessary vaginally probed ultra sounds for anybody seeking an abortion in his state. they took out the part saying it had to be strictly vaginal, but you had to have an unnecessary ultrasound at the direction of the state government and virginia still required you to pay for it. that's how governor mcdonnell became governor ultrasound. in the same election virginia elected him, they also picked an anti-abortion activist to be attorney general too. ken cuccinelli began his career sponsoring bills to make it harder to get an abortion in virginia. like we have seen this year, republicans of virginia this
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year, even after the ultrasound thing, have been moving forward with new regulations that are specifically targeted at abortion clinics. they seem designed to try to close abortion clinics through targeted regulation. now, interestingly, the board of health in virginia is not going along with this quietly. the board of health in virginia ruled this month that these new rules could not be used to shut down virginia's existing abortion clinics. enter attorney general ken cuccinelli, who is intervening now to try to overrule, in effect, the board of health. he is refusing, as attorney general, to certify the board of health's actions. an oh, no, what's going to happen next year -- ken cuccinelli is sending this issue over to governor ultrasound for his consideration. won't you please get involved here, sir? governor ultrasound hasn't even begun to recover from the thing that got him named governor ultrasound, and now he's getting saddled with another one of
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those? oh, governor ultrasound, this is a tough spot for you. but if you insist on laws to intentionally overregulate the lady parts in your state and if your state is already governed by a guy named governor ultrasound and your name is ken cuccinelli and your nickname is already the cooch, that's already what people call you, sooner or later somebody is going to start something called cooch watch. someone just did. this week a small group in virginia launched, a website dedicated to all things cooch, by which they mean all things ken cuccinelli, virginia attorney general. you can have fun with this. their first caption contest resulted in this caption winner. cooch watch also sent a fake real reporter to the cooch's every move on the state, like when he spoke recently for a local virginia tea party group. >> reporter: and what are you doing personally to protect your
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cooch from the cooch? >> well, i'm not letting him anywhere near mine. >> and so it goes in republican-controlled states where republicans have made a full-time crusade since the 2010 elections of passing anti-abortion bills and where women, and men who trust women, are making a new and wonderful art form of fending them off and making fun of them and resisting them, but it's not just in the states. even though this is mostly happening in the states, it should be noted that at the federal level in congress, where republicans are promised to be laser focussed on jobs, jobs, jobs, they have somehow found time on also being laser focussed on taking away abortion rights, particularly in one city, washington, d.c., republicans this year in congress have taken action on three stand alone federal bills to take away access to abortion in d.c. their latest goes so far that it may not be constitutional, but
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republicans are rolling it forward anyway, passing it on a party line vote this week. in congress, when republicans control the house, the congresswoman who represents washington, d.c. is not allowed to vote. a democratic majority allows her to vote, but a republican majority in the house does not. it's not that they are not interested in d.c., they are just not interested in having d.c. vote on things affecting d.c. yesterday, though she cannot vote, eleanor holmes norton ask her statement be included in the record. "republicans dare not take on the women of this country with a post-20-week ban on abortions. instead, the majority has chosen a cheap and cynical way." joining us now, eleanor holmes norton, congresswoman norton, nobody gets to vote on this show, but if there were, you'd have full voting rights here. great to have you here. >> thank you, rachel. >> you make the argument republicans would dare not try an abortion ban like this nationwide where people had
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voting representatives. why do you think that is and why do you think they've singled out d.c.? >> very important, rachel. if you think they are coming after district of columbia, sure, because that's the easiest thing to do, but their interest is really not in the district of columbia. this 20-week abortion ban, they've marched through nine conservative states, then it occurred we need a federal, what's the easiest way to get it? they didn't dare get in the face of american women. they've already been there for contraceptives, health care plans, defunding planned parenthood, the komen for the cure, they got their -- their you know what handed to them, so you come in the face of the american women today with -- and by the way, the final destination is your abortion rights, and you really get their attention. tell you what, rachel, we got their attention, because pro-choice forces have been all over the country saying this
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ain't about the district of columbia. they are using the district of columbia to get you there on a national campaign against roe v. wade, and by the way, they have already been caught up. this is a bill brought by an arizona member of the house named trent franks. i called him out because his own state didn't have a 20-week abortion ban, so he quick got some people to introduce one there. that now is going to court. look, this is against -- this is unconstitutional, when it comes to the district of columbia, it deprives us of our 14th amendment rights, but that's not the point. they are using women in my district as puppets, as pawns, to get at roe v. wade and american women nationwide. watch out, they are coming after you.
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>> so you think that they are specifically pursuing this in d.c., not just part of a broader anti-abortion interest pushing their advantage where they can, where they've got control, you think this is specifically to set up a federal case to challenge roe v. wade by taking this 20-week ban issue that they've pushed in other states? >> no, no, they can do that, and they've already done that in the states. this is to get up ahead of seam throughout the country where you get as many states as possible to defy roe v. wade. you can do it easily in nine conservative states where it's hard to get an abortion in the first place, but if you really want to bring this attention, some national attention on this, what you want to do as part of this national campaign is somehow get the federal government involved. rachel, if this was a principle
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matter, if you thought there was pain at 20 weeks, bogus science, to be sure, but if that's what you thought, you wouldn't be interested in fetuses only in the district of columbia, you'd have to deal with fetuses all across the united states of america. that's not the point here. they've not been able to get a choice the way they've wanted to get it. it's an election year, this is the last thing, by the way, that i think our republican colleagues wanted to do, but they sat there with their heads down and voted party line vote without, i must say, saying a lot about the bill. they left that to trent franks, the sponsor. they are supposed to be about jobs. since they haven't been about jobs, other republicans are coming in to fill the space.
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not the way to fill it. >> eleanor holmes norton, congresswoman from the great district of columbia, thank you for your time tonight, ma'am. it's a pleasure to have you here. >> always a pleasure. >> thank you. >> it's true what she's saying about the focus in washington right now. they keep saying jobs, jobs, jobs, but this week, back-bench members of congress went back to an abortion ban, ban on contraceptive access through health insurance. they keep going back to these issues because john boehner can't control his caucus and they hope they don't get any attention for it. anyway -- [ music plays, record skips ] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me! twenty-one vitamins and minerals and zero fat! hmmm. you'll bring a lot to the party. [ all ] yay! [ female announcer ] new ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. twenty-one vitamins and minerals. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. refreshing nutrition in charge! and so too is the summer event.
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it isn't often a speech from a politician goes viral. usually, it's a video of a daredevil bull dog cruising down the street on a skateboard or some amazing trick basketball shot that may or may not be a result of some fancy editing, yeah, bang. or a 32-year-old guy that somehow manages to interview the 12-year-old version of himself. that's what's usually the stuff of viral videos. isn't often a speech from a politician becomes a viral thing, but it did happen last september with this. >> there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own, nobody. you built a factory out there, good for you, but i want to be clear, you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. you were safe in your factory because of police forces and
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fire forces that the rest of us paid for. you didn't have to worry that bands would come and seize everything at your factory and hire someone to protect against us because of the work the rest of us did. now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea, god bless, keep a big hunk of it, but part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along. >> that clip from democratic senate candidate elizabeth warren from massachusetts lit up the internet machine last fall, racked up about a million views on youtube, passed around in e-mail form, got posted on people's facebook pages, got so popular as a political message that the president of the united states eventually decided to help himself to it. he sort of stole it in a friendly way.
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elizabeth warren made those remarks in someone's living room in andover massachusetts, but what she said made its way into president obama's stump speech. >> we're successful because somebody invested in our education, somebody built schools, somebody created incredible universities. i went to school on scholarship. we benefitted from somebody somewhere making an investment in us, and i don't care who you are, that's true of all of us. >> that has now become sort of a standard part of president obama's stump speech, including just the other day in virginia. >> if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. you didn't get there on your own. i'm always struck by people who think, wow, it must be because i was just so smart. there are a lot of smart people out there. it must be because i worked harder than everybody else. let me tell you something, there are a whole bunch of hard-working people out there. if you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some
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help. there was a great teacher somewhere in your life. >> we value schoolteacher, firefighters, people who build roads. >> somebody invested in roads and bridges. if you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen. >> the point is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative but also because we do things together.
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>> with the people who began a business or leading a business in this room please stand up. wow, thank you. thank you. i know you recognize a lot of people help you in a business. perhaps the banks, the investors there's no question your mom and dad, your schoolteachers. the people that provide roads, the fire, the police, a lot of people help. >> the roads, the fire, the police, the teachers, right? right? we're all in agreement. so elizabeth warren says it, president obama kind of cribs it in a friendly way from elizabeth warren, mitt romney then cribs it from elizabeth warren and barack obama. but because it's mitt romney, he's now also vehemently against that point he's been making. the romney campaign has now extracted from president obama's speech that you just saw there, just the part where the president says if you've got a business, you didn't build that.
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somebody else made that happen. he's very clearly at that speech talking about the american system that allows all of us to thrive, the roads and bridges and the infrastructure that all businesses count on, the things we do as a country that allows businesses to take place. he's saying we don't do that alone. your business, which you may very well do alone benefits from this, but your business doesn't itself build the roads and the bridges that the trucks from your business drive across to then sell your widgets at a market. the roads and the bridges thing, that's something the government has to do. president obama was talking about the role of government in laying the ground work so that businesses can then succeed. that's something that barack obama has talked about. it's something that mitt romney has talked about. something that elizabeth warren has talked about it. they have all talked about it in almost the exact same terms positively.
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but mr. romney has edited that idea, that he has supported into being a nefarious communist attack on business or something. >> let me tell you something, if you've got a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> my father's hands didn't build this company. my hands didn't build this company. my sons aren't building this company. through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. why are you demonizing us for it? >> did you build the road that goes to your business? that's what he was talking about. misleading attack ad politics are among the most boring of all politics, but there are two interesting things going on here right now. the first interesting thing is when the great ezra klein of "the washington post" wrote about this today, he tagged his post, elections don't have to be stupid. he's making the point there's a substantive and somewhat quantitative debate to be had here about the opt much level of public investment we should be making in the resources that we and all businesses share. things like roads and bridges, which businesses use in order to make money privately.
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that's an interesting conversation to have. it's a policy conversation. there's also an interesting conversation to be had about how much you can get away with and still be considered a viable candidate for president. because what's in this ad was not what barack obama said. he did not say somebody else built your business for you. you didn't build it. he said we built the roads and the bridges that your business uses. you didn't have to build the roads and bridges yourself. but mitt romney has been doing this kind of thing the entire campaign. the romney campaign is still running with the totally made-up allegation that the energy department inspector general concluded that president obama steered government contracts to friends and family. that is an empirical statement that is checkable and is not true. it is false. and there it is in a mitt romney ad. it's been up for a long time. we have called them on it, others have too. they're just letting it go. mr. romney's first ad against president obama, the very first one took the president's words completely out of context. not only did mr. romney not take that ad down, but he bragged about it when he was called out for it. president obama was talking about something he disagreed with from another politician. mitt romney ran it as if it was
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his own words. this is not a typical political practice. there's a lot to debate in terms of the substance, but there's also what do we expect from somebody running for president? there's a certain shamelessness threshold we expect our candidates to meet. these ads should be corrected and taken down but they're still up. brazenly impirically false ads, one right after the other, that seems like something new. does that sort of thing hurt you as a candidate? america? are we so emured to the idea of someone calling someone a liar that we don't call it out anymore? that's not a question about the candidates, that's a question about us. [ birds chirping ] [ engine revving ]
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best new thing in the world today is imminent.
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but here's where it starts. the band the who was set for a show in rhode island in 1979. that show was canceled by the city's mayor because of safety concerns shows by the who after a show of theirs in cincinnati went very, very wrong. it was not an out of the blue thing that this concert was canceled. the who have not been back to providence since then. but they're about to. the who is still a band, they're still going and their new tour for the first time since the '70s is going to take them to providence to what used to be called the providence civic center. today, the manager of that arena announced that if you had a ticket for the canceled who concert in 1979 and you still have that physical ticket, that will get you into the who's concert in february. you have to spend your 33-year-old historic souvenir, but you get to see the who 33 years after you intended to, which is awesome. but it's not the best new thing in the world today. see, the mayor of providence in 1979 was named buddy cianci.
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but many things about him that you should know, he at one point was married to a woman named nancy ann. that means that this story gives reasonable excuse to tell you that at one point the first lady of providence, rhode island, were called buddy and nancy ann cianci. best new thing in a world. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. and today, team romney forced ann romney to try to explain why she and her husband are hiding their tax returns. let's just say she didn't exactly put out the fire.
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>> the negative story on romney and his taxes are not going away. >> team romney continues to shield the governor's tax returns. >> is anything going to put in to rest? >> we're given you all you people need to know. >> all you people need to know? >> we don't owe you any answers. >> it's about romney's personal wealth and the country's lack of wealth. >> it's given all you people need to know. >> whatever you're debating, you're debating wealth. >> backtrack on bain. >> bain? >> bain. >> rush limbaugh now denying his "dark knight rises" conspiracy. >> the villain in the "dark knight rises" is named bane. >> the conspiracy that bane the villain is out there because of bain capital. >> same name as the most frightening and current batman villain. >> corporations are people, my friend. >> it'